Southwest Persia, 19th century
273 x 131 cm (8’ 11” x 4’ 4”)
Condition: good, scattered low pile, selvedges partially original, some small old repairs and reweaves
Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool
The true character of Persia is no better expressed than in its rug-weaving tradition. The court carpets of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties established a courtly style and design repertoire in fine workshop carpets; running alongside this is another tradition of the nomadic population of Iran, their carpets made in villages for domestic consumption and representing the aesthetic expression of more ancient traditions.
The nomadic tribes of the Fars region wove various utilitarian weavings to accompany tribal life. One of these was the Gabbeh: a loosely woven, thick-pile textile made primarily as a sleeping rug. These rugs were not considered to have any value until the 1970s, when their confident abstract expression, bold colour contrasts and primal aesthetic attracted the attention of collectors. It was then understood that the woman weavers of these rugs deserved to be recognised as artists, using wool and weave as their mode of expression.
This carpet is a fine representation of such a tradition and shows the chromatic brilliance associated with Lurs weavers, combined with the narrative nature of the best of these highly collectible rugs. Five women and three men are shown within the safety of the diamond medallions, but with one man left outside the confines of the family unit. The changes in colour in the medallions and borders is typical of these rugs, which had been woven by the mothers and daughters together.
Estimate: € 4000 - 7000